Comparison test between Husqvarna TE 610 E and KTM 640 LC 4


Comparison test between Husqvarna TE 610 E and KTM 640 LC 4

The electric riders

Husqvarna and KTM energize their big enduros, which is not only good for off-road cowboys.

Engines that die off without any warning are one of the unpleasant sides of some enduro bikes: their drivers mutate into much-laughed beasts in front of red lights, and in tricky cross-country passages they rob their last of their strength. If you don’t want to play on the side of the road or in the middle of nowhere, neither swearing loudly nor sweating, you can buy a Husqvarna TE 610 E or KTM 640 LC 4. They have buttons, a gentle thumb press activates their electric starter – and it goes on. Quite an aspect that could make the step into the enduro camp easier for the undecided.
In addition to the e-starter, both test candidates show off the kick starter, which is indispensable for real warhorses. Two strong kicks are enough for the KTM and it thunders away. On the other hand, the Pedes start procedure at TE is a real game of chance. Your motor either reacts to the first step, or it remains silent forever. The protruding pillion peg also stands in the way of successful kick attempts.
What the hell. After all, you have electric starters, and the engines also seem to like this kind of awakening. The right thumb remains on the button a little longer on the cold Husky, but when it is warm, just like on the KTM, a short tap is enough and the motor does its work.
While the TE 610 E acknowledges movements of the throttle hand with a loud, rattling, hoarse suction noise and pulls its way with almost no vibrations, the KTM unit shakes and vibrates its rider powerfully. However, it impresses with its spontaneous, powerful acceleration in all situations and also implements this advantage on the slopes: Drifting on any surface is easier and more controlled with the LC 4, as it does not need any “time to think” for the implementation of this command when the gas is quickly torn open. In contrast to the husky, which begins to groan immediately, but converts the commands of its rider into propulsion with a little delay. A peculiarity that, however, suits less experienced drivers off-road.
But let’s do the road scoring first: Both candidates had their soles on a coarse-tread Pirelli MT 21 before the test began. A tire pairing that can withstand medium-heavy terrain without complaint, without annoying you with significant losses in road use. The TE 610 E and LC 4 are equally successful in chasing bends with adventurous inclines. The extremely handy Husky is one step ahead when it comes to changing curves in quick succession up to a speed of around 50 km / h, after which the KTM takes the lead thanks to its improved driving stability.
The chassis of the Husqvarna impresses in one-person operation with fine responsiveness and a lot of comfort. The KTM proves to be a little too tight, bucking slightly on short bumps. In the two-person operation, however, it looks different: The LC 4 is way ahead of the pathetic, much too soft Husky. The amount of space also leaves a lot to be desired: For the husky pillion, the knobbly plastic luggage rack squeezes painfully into the buttocks due to the lack of bench length. The rider sits much more comfortably on the KTM – thanks to the passenger-friendly shape of the luggage rack. In addition, in contrast to the Husky counterpart, the KTM cushion is comfortably tightly padded and placed two floors higher. The enormous seat height makes supporting footwork difficult for trial insoles in the field – Husqvarna drivers have no problems with this thanks to the narrow and lower seat.
On the other hand, the LC 4 mercilessly shows its chassis advantages compared to the TE 610 E when it is just above walking speed: transverse grooves, jumps, boulders – it doesn’t matter, it moves steadfastly and accurately, leaving the Husqvarna behind meter by meter and mercilessly. The powerful 50 mm telescopic fork, which can be adjusted in rebound and compression, and the shock absorber, which can also be adjusted in rebound and compression as well as in the spring base, offer plenty of reserves. Reserves that the Husqvarna is running out of. Only the spring base on the rear suspension strut can be adjusted – a bit poor for an enduro in this price range.
On the other hand, the convincing features of the Test-Husky include the foldable mirrors, the hand-rests, the quick-release seat lock and the practical rev counter – all extras that KTM does without. Above all, the lack of a rev counter leads to unsuccessful shift attempts at higher speeds – in fifth gear is the end of the KTM. Incidentally, the gear steps are pleasing on country roads, but off-road, the first three gears should move closer together.
The Husqvarna has it easier: The transmission provides six smoothly engaging gears, so that a suitable representative can always be hung on the chain on the road and off-road. He then takes care of the propulsion until the fuel supply runs out. And according to the manufacturer, that’s exactly 9.1 liters.
D.he KTM keg holds 12 liters. In return, the LC 4 engine approved almost one liter more per 100 kilometers than the Husqvarna during the more than 1000 test kilometers. The Austrians should try harder to avoid this bad habit in the future, as well as to contain the unbridled engine vibrations. These are completely alien to the Husqvarna. The engine purrs to itself. It’s just a shame that the handy Italian lacks high-quality chassis components.

2nd place – Husqvarna TE 610 E

Not much remains of the reputation of the tough, competitive sports enduro with the e-starter model. Too slack spring elements and the tamed engine throw the Husqvarna back to second place. Nonetheless, beginners will have a lot of fun with the very handy TE 610 E and its smooth, low-vibration motor. Whether that alone justifies the purchase price of over 13,000 marks remains questionable.

1st place – KTM 640 LC 4 Enduro

Despite the electric starter, the 640 LC 4 remains true to the KTM line: sporty, tough, strong as a bear and unfortunately also a bit stubborn. But if you take your LC 4 by the hand, you will be rewarded with accuracy and stability even into the roughest terrain. Responding spontaneously to every thrust of the gas, thanks to high-quality spring elements it moves undeterred on its way. The only downer is the high consumption and the unbridled vibrations of the rough engine.

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